Hillary Clinton on SCOTUS: I hope the president chooses a progressive

Last Updated Feb 25, 2016 1:45 PM EST

Hillary Clinton on Thursday took aim at reports from a day earlier that said the White House was vetting Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada for the open Supreme Court seat.

"I know the governor has done some good things, but I sure hope the president chooses a true progressive who will stand up for the values and the interests of the people of this country," Clinton said in Williamsburg, South Carolina, just two days before the state holds its Democratic primary.

Clinton went on to say she hopes Mr. Obama chooses someone "who understands that you need to protect the right to vote of a person, not the right of a corporation to buy an election, who will understand that we still need the Voting Rights Act to be in force because too many people are being deprived of their right to vote in this country."

Sandoval, however, took himself out of the running for the nomination on Thursday just a short while after Clinton's remarks.

CBS News confirmed on Wednesday that the White House was vetting Sandoval for the seat left vacant by the late Justice Antonin, who died on Feb. 13. A source familiar with the process told CBS that Sandoval met with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, on Monday while the governor was in Washington, D.C. for the National Governor's Association meeting, the source said. The two spoke on the phone last week in Nevada and agreed to meet in person this week. The source said that they discussed the Supreme Court and that the White House was considering Sandoval.

Clinton said she is "deeply disappointed" that the Senate has said it won't consider anyone the president appoints.

"The president has the constitutional responsibility to nominate a successor for that vacancy and I'm very proud President Obama has said he intends to follow his constitutional responsibility," Clinton added.

After there were reports that Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, didn't respond to a White House invitation for a meeting with Mr. Obama over the Supreme Court vacancy, the senator's office said Wednesday evening that they're working with the White House on a "mutually beneficial" time in which a meeting could probably happen early next week.

Grassley and his panel, however, unanimously agreed earlier this week that a Supreme Court nominee should not be considered until the next president is sworn into office next January. Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has taken the same position and has even said he might not even meet with whomever Mr. Obama appoints.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.